Gary Duffy will stand for mayor in 2020.
Gary Duffy will stand for mayor in 2020. Cordell Richardson

Will he stand? Council fighter's pledge ahead of election

HE'S just had one of the "biggest and ugliest" thyroids removed, but Gary Duffy insists he is focused on recovering and standing for mayor at next year's council elections.

Mr Duffy, who stood against Paul Pisasale in 2016, has revealed he will stand for the top job "to keep Ipswich on the right track".

The long-time candidate feels vindicated his public criticism of the council over several years ended in its dismissal last August.

Mr Duffy pledged to continue implementing transparent and accountable policies installed by the administrator.

"The most important thing is we keep Ipswich on the right track... with all the work that Greg Chemello has done," he said.

The mayoral candidate has found himself in several battles, some in court, against councillors in the past few years.

He said the run for mayor, supported by wife Conny, was about the good of Ipswich.

"I don't think we have anything to prove," he said.

"Everything we did was for Ipswich and it wasn't for us.

"We've got the vision, passion and commitment to do the job."

Eight weeks ago Mr Duffy had an operation to remove his thyroid.

An average thyroid weighs about 25 grams, but Mr Duffy's came in about 480 grams.

With his health on the mend, Mr Duffy has become the second person to announce his candidacy for mayor.

Former division seven councillor David Martin last week pledged "a bold new vision" for the city.

With only two candidates, Mr Duffy is feeling positive, despite his previous unsuccessful campaigns.

"I think our chances are quite good at this stage," he said.

"We have always played the long game.

"I don't know anyone with a racehorse or a football team that would expect a win on the first go."

Mr Duffy said more local action on the environment would be a cornerstone of his campaign.

"We're losing our environment and koala habitat at a rate of knots," he said.

"If we continue we'll become a rooftop city."

The next council elections will be held in March 2020.

The number of councillors and divisions is unknown.

Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has referred the choice to the Local Government Change Commission, which will decide and offer a community consultation process.